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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrata > fishes > Family Ostraciidae
Shortnose boxfish
Rhynchostracion nasus
Family Ostraciidae
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? This strange boxy fish was seen once among the seagrass meadows of Cyrene Reefs. It is also called the Small nosed boxfish. It was previously called Ostracion nasus.

Features: To 30cm, the one seen was about 10cm long. It has a cubical, boxy body which is protected by a hard shell (carapace) made up of bony plates with gaps for the various tiny fins, the tail and the mouth. It has no horns. It has a small bump on the 'nose' above the upper lip and a ridge along the middle of the back. The fish has a pattern of hexagons with brown spots.

Cyrene Reef, Jun 09
It is said to be toxic. It is probably one of the species that secretes a powerful toxin on the skin (called ostracitoxin). This toxin is poisonous to other fishes and can even kill the boxfish itself if it is confined in an aquarium. Thus they are not recommended for aquariums.

Ridge along the middle of the back.

Small bump on the 'nose'.

Pulau Sekudu, Jun 14

Pulau Sekudu, Jun 14
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

Shortnose boxfishes on Singapore shores

Photos Shortnose boxfishes for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map


Beting Bronok, Jun 16.
Photo shared by Jianlin Liu on facebook.

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